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9 Different Types of CBDs and CBD Products: A Guide

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Cannabidiol (CBD) has been filling shelves across the country since its federal legalization in 2018. Available in a variety of forms, from topical CBD oil to fruit-flavored full-spectrum CBD gummies to chewable CBD tablets, the hemp derivative touts numerous potential benefits. 

Regularly consuming CBD may ease physical aches, support healthy sleep cycles and alleviate mental anguish. But how exactly does this super compound do it all? It’s all thanks to its alter egos — three, to be exact: Broad spectrum, full spectrum and isolate CBD.

When ingested or applied topically...CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates many of the processes that keep our bodies balanced and running smoothly. 

Together, they’re the Justice League of Cannabidiols — each with their own abilities that, when combined, create a world filled with health, vitality and wellness. 

3 Different Types of CBDs

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound harvested from the hemp plant. Unlike its antihero, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD will not produce heightened sensory perception, an altered sense of time or dependency. Rather, it exhibits little dependency potential and may ease stress, aches and restlessness.

CBD products can contain trace amounts of THC, given they’re each derived from the same cannabis plant. However, legally, they can contain no more than 0.3% THC. (And some types of CBDs don’t contain any amount of THC.) 

When ingested or applied topically, the cannabinoids in CBD interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates many of the processes that keep our bodies balanced and running smoothly. Mainly, it plays a role in:

  • Eating functions
  • Learning and memory
  • Emotional processing
  • Reproduction
  • Metabolism and appetite
  • Temperature control
  • Immune responses
  • Physical sensation

More specifically, CBD may mimic molecules in the ECS, called endocannabinoids, since they’re structurally similar. In effect, they can influence the system’s cell receptors, CB1 and CB2, to regulate the functions listed above—much like Iron Man, locking into his high-tech suit. 

All that said, there are three types of CBDs available on the market today, and they each vary in composition and potential benefits.

#1 Full Spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD is the Avengers of the cannabidiol world — it’s powerful and multifaceted. Why? It contains a full cast of naturally occurring (and beneficial) compounds from the cannabis plant, including:

  • Cannabinoids – In addition to CBD, full spectrum CBD oil and other products contain cannabigerol (CBG), which may reduce inflammation; cannabichromene (CBC), which may relieve physical aches; cannabinol (CBN), which can promote sleep and relaxation; and trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that can increase appetite and feelings of pleasure. However, its levels are low enough that it is unlikely to produce any psychoactive effects. That said, full spectrum CBD contains up to 100 other cannabinoids, each with their own unique perks.
  • Terpenes – Terpenes give the cannabis plant its unique smell and may provide a host of therapeutic benefits. These include, but are not limited to, myrcene, limonene, pinene, linalool and caryophyllene, which are each believed to have anti-inflammatory and calming effects. 
  • Flavonoids – Flavonoids are common in many plants, including the hemp plant. In fact, they’re the reason why many fruits and vegetables are so brightly colored. Full spectrum CBD products contain over 20 of these potentially therapeutic compounds; however, it varies on the specific strain and extraction method.

Together, these compounds are believed to create an “entourage effect.” The theory posits that the combined effort of each of these compounds enhances the effects of the CBD, thus delivering more benefits to the user. 

In this sense, we may more accurately relate full spectrum CBD to the X-Men, a team of superheroes, each with their own unique abilities and strengths, that can achieve more when they work together than they could on their own. 

As such, full spectrum CBD touts many elevated benefits, including:

  • Anti-microbial properties
  • Sleep support
  • Physical comfort
  • Skin health
  • Mood support

#2 Broad Spectrum CBD

Like full spectrum CBD products, broad spectrum CBD contains a comprehensive sampling of each of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. However, it’s missing one component: THC.

As such, the extraction method differs from full spectrum CBD. Both are extracted using one of four methods:

  • Carbon dioxide extraction
  • Steam distillation
  • Solvent extraction
  • Lipid extraction

However, broad spectrum CBD undergoes further processing to remove detectable amounts of THC. 

Like Batman, broad spectrum CBD uses a variety of “gadgets.” In effect, options like broad spectrum CBD oil products may deliver a host of THC-free benefits, although it's not certain if the “entourage effect” will be as strong as it is in its THC counterpart. Nevertheless, potential benefits include:

  • Sleep support
  • Mood regulation
  • Physical relief

#3 Isolate CBD

Isolate CBD, a crystalline solid, is similar to Superman — it's the quintessential CBD product and the one users look to provide enduring support and vitality. Essentially, CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD — absent of terpenes, flavonoids and all cannabinoids except CBD.

As such, it’s another THC-free CBD product for those looking for CBD support without the presence of THC. 

CBD isolate has laser focus and may have an impact on a variety of processes throughout the body, including:

  • Appetite
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Physical sensation

6 Different Forms of CBD

CBD can further be classified by the form it takes. Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and isolate CBD can transfigure into a number of forms, which can affect:

  • Dose amount
  • Administration
  • Absorption time 
  • How long CBD stays in the body

With all that said, there are six methods by which you can enjoy all types of CBD:

  • CBD gummies and edibles – Gummies, beverages and pastries like brownies, cookies and candies are popular CBD treats. Because they must pass through the digestive system, they often take longer to activate and may stay in your system for a longer period of time, compared to a sublingual CBD tincture. Zebra CBD gummies contain 25 mg of CBD per gummy. Learn more about CBD gummy dosage and regular CBD dosage to determine the right amount for you.
  • CBD oils and tinctures – CBD oils are a wonderful way to easily incorporate cannabidiol into your everyday routine. There are two ways to administer CBD oils: The first method is sublingual, meaning you would drop an oil under your tongue, where it's absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 

So, what happens if you swallow CBD oil? This method is typically fast-acting; however, the CBD will also filter through your body more quickly. The other method is orally: place a few drops into your mouth or add them to a food or beverage. Like a CBD edible, the CBD oil will need to pass through the small intestine before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Zebra CBD oil products contain 25 mg of CBD per serving. 

  • CBD capsules – Like CBD edibles and oral CBD tincture, capsules will have delayed effects, as they cannot be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. As such, they’re a fantastic choice for those wanting to support their sleep routine, but still get an hour of reading in before bedtime. 
  • CBD chewable tablets – CBD chewable tablets easily dissolve in the mouth, which quickens the rate at which the CBD is metabolized. This allows the CBD supplement to enter your system more quickly to deliver the desired effects. Zebra CBD tablets contain 25 mg of CBD per chewable.
  • CBD topical – Applied to the top of your skin, only small amounts of CBD lotions, creams and topicals enter the bloodstream. As such, you’ll likely experience fewer full-body benefits. However, a CBD topical may help ease skin dryness or itching.
  • Vapes and smokable CBD – Inhaling CBD oil or dried hemp flowers is the fastest way to achieve the desired effects, as it’s quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. However, smoking CBD may pose a risk to the lungs and your overall health.

CBD Safety and Dosage

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve of over-the-counter consumer CBD products, CBD can be consumed safely. All types of CBD are typically well-tolerated; however, they may interact with certain medications — like blood thinners — and can cause unpleasant side effects, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

Fortunately, humans can tolerate up to 1,500 mg of CBD a day. Although, that amount isn’t necessary to experience the desired effects. Typically, a drop of CBD oil will contain 5 mg of CBD, while an edible, capsule or tablet will contain about 25 mg of CBD.

Additionally, it’s critical that you chose a trusted manufacturer and supplier. More specifically, ensure that your CBD product comes with a certificate of analysis (COA). A COA details the chemical analysis of the CBD product, which you can use to ensure the contents match what’s described on the label.

To receive a COA, a supplier must submit the product to an independent, third-party lab. The analysis will include:

  • The cannabinoid types that are present
  • The weight percentage of each cannabinoid
  • The concentration (mg) of each cannabinoid
  • A heavy metal analysis
  • A pesticide analysis

When reviewing the COA, ensure that all full spectrum CBD products contain each of the cannabinoids listed, the THC percentage (0.3% is the legal limit) and the lab in which the CBD product was tested to ensure it’s an independent party, separate from the seller. 

All-Powerful CBD at Zebra CBD

Full spectrum CBD, broad spectrum CBD and isolate CBD are a health-supporting team of cannabidiols that deliver vitality in every drop. While full spectrum CBD contains a host of terpenes, flavonoids and cannabinoids, including THC, broad spectrum and isolate CBD are THC-free.

To experience the power of the entourage effect, team up with Zebra CBD.

We offer a variety of full spectrum CBD options,  including CBD oil products, CBD chewable tablets and CBD gummies to help put some wellness into your day. 

Source: 

Harvard Health Publishing. The Endocannabinoid System: Essential and Mysterious. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-endocannabinoid-system-essential-and-mysterious-202108112569

Healthline. What Is Full-Spectrum CBD? https://www.healthline.com/health/full-spectrum-cbd

Healthline. What Is Broad-Spectrum CBD. https://www.healthline.com/health/broad-spectrum-cbd

Medical News Today. Full-Spectrum Vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/full-spectrum-cbd-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd

Healthline. Full-Spectrum Vs. Broad-Spectrum CBD. https://www.healthline.com/health/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-cbd

Medical News Today. CBD Isolate. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-isolate#effects

Forbes. What To Know About The Types of CBD. https://www.forbes.com/health/body/types-of-cbd/

Mayo Clinic. CBD: Safe and Effective? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700


Co-founder of Copycat Copywriters, Adam has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies on a wide array of topics, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

About the Author

Adam Biederman Image

Adam Biederman

As co-founder and lead writer of Copycat Copywriters, one of Adam’s primary areas of expertise is within the budding CBD and cannabis space. He has written for dozens of CBD and cannabis companies, producing a collection of white papers, press releases, blog posts, articles and ebooks about a wide array of industry-related subjects, including regulations, economics, farming practices and biochemistry.

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